Warm hot chocolate

This makes 3 large hot chocolates, and it is so worth doing!! The only thing is – the kids will ask for this hot chocolate! Thankfully, the ingredients are simple and you get lots of cuddles in return!

Ingredients

3 cups milk

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs Horlicks malt

100g dark chocolate (which was ½ a Lindt Easter bunny)!

 

Method

Pour the milk into a saucepan and warm. Once warm, add the other ingredients and whisk a little until smooth. Serve immediately, with a big kiss and cookies!

Warm hot chocolate

Lamb one pot wonder

Like many mothers, I too work outside of them home a bit. This calls for lots of planning so we don’t eat takeaway and get our immune systems down. So in light of that, I generally cook a roast each Monday night and then use the leftover meat in other dishes such as ragus, and things I concoct in a pot – my one pot wonders! This was very delicious and put together in about half an hour, so has become a little go to dish mid-week. The simple flavours and the beautiful herbs will give your body just the boost you need on hump day! I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

1 red onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, diced

2 carrots, diced

Splash of olive oil

250ml passata

300ml can diced tomatoes

2 cups leftover roast lamb

Salt and pepper to your liking

½ handful of parsley

4 sprigs oregano

4 sprigs thyme

 

Method

Splash some olive oil in a pan. Once heated put the onion, garlic and carrots in and saute for 10 minutes. Add the passata and diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper as much as you like. Add your leftover lamb roast and your herbs (leaving some for garnish). Simmer together for about 20 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together. Serve with mash potatoes or whatever side dish you like!

Lamb one pot wonder

Beetroot & cashew nut dip

This is my go to dip for parties and weekend antipasto boards – give it a go – so simple and so tasty – it really is just 3 ingredients and 2 minutes!

 

Ingredients

2 large roasted beetroots with 1/4 cup water or 300g canned beetroot, chopped in their can juices

1 handful of cashews, lightly salted

A handful of parsley, ripped

 

Method

Place all ingredients in your blender, magic stick thing, Nutribullet and blitz! Ta da! You’re done!

Beetroot & cashew nut dip

Crispy seared salmon

This was risky to serve my household. There aren’t many seafood recipes on here because my hubby is allergic to it, so we only have it in his absence and when I have pre-planned. It turns out that Miss 7 and Master 14 absolutely loved this and have asked for it since! Have a go, it is easy and brilliant!

Ingredients

As many salmon fillets with skin on as you need

Olive oil

Sea salt

Whatever vegetables you like

 

Method

Drizzle olive oil over the skin of the salmon and then sprinkle the salt on. Rub the salt into the skin. Heat a non-stick fry pan to medium heat. Place the salmon skin down on the hot pan. Cover with a lid for about 4 minutes, then remove the lid. Lift the salmon and place down, still with the skin on the bottom. Turn up the heat for a further minute. If you like your salmon medium to well done, this is you now, get off the train! That’s how I make it. If you like it 100% cooked, turn the salmon over for a further 1-2 minutes. This timing is based on salmon that is over an inch thick at the largest section. If yours is smaller, do not cook for as long. When I have 2cm high fillets I just cook skin side down for 3 minutes with the lid on, remove the lid for one more minute and then it is done. Serve with whatever veges you like. I made some steamed potatoes, smothered in butter and parsley, and blanched a few beans! Enjoy your beautiful fish dish!

Crispy seared salmon

Raspberry, banana and cashew nut slice

This is a slight adaption from a recipe a friend gave me from a Diabetes magazine. It is so lovely that I made it three times in a week! Once for works bake day, once for home and once for the cuppa tea after mass. The kids were very helpful in this, I made it with 14, 7, 5 and 3 year olds. They loved getting their hands in and mashing things up and squishing things, and stirring! It is my turn to stir now! Lol! But seriously, do try this, it is beautiful!

Ingredients

250 g frozen raspberries

1 banana

80 g butter

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup wholemeal flour

2 tbs plain flour

2 eggs

Handful of cashews

Icing powder for dusting

 

Method

Get the kids to mash the banana and half the raspberries until all mushy. Clean hands or a fork should do – very fun, even for toddlers! Have the butter at room temperature (if it is Queensland Australia it will be runny, in Manchester UK you might want to melt it using the microwave or stove!). To the mashed goodness, add the butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, flours and eggs. Everyone gets a turn at mixing! Mix mix mix! Whilst someone is mixing, someone else can be bashing the cashews a little to break them up. I place them in a snap lock bag and the kids bash them with a wooden spoon! Pour/spoon out onto a lined baking tray of a small slice tray. Everyone can pop the leftover raspberries on top and dot the cashew pieces around. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it. Once almost cooled, dust with icing powder and serve. This is amazing warm, and lovely in lunchboxes (if your school is nut free, just omit them). I also make this minus the nuts and plus a handful of toasted coconut! However you make it, go for it and love it! It is a fabulous slice for all!

Raspberry, banana and cashew nut slice

Fabulous easy pasta

This is seriously the concoction of what I had in the fridge that day! It is so fast, fresh and fabulous that I go out of my way to ensure I have the ingredients to cook it on purpose now! My kids go back for seconds, and it freezes really well, so this simple dish is a winner in my house!

Ingredients

1 small onion, sliced

2 tsp garlic paste or 3 cloves of garlic crushed

4 sprigs box basil

A handful of parsley

350ml tomato puree or passata

6 pieces of grilled red and yellow capsicum (from the deli or jar or maybe from leftovers)

250g zucchini spaghetti – as in the fresh curly zucchini strips

Dash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Heat a saucepan, splashing a dash of olive oil in. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add the herbs, passata and capsicum. Salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for ten minutes. Steam the zucchini curls, then add to your sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Fabulous easy pasta

Ginger cookies

Originally I started making real ginger cookies to make it on boat trips. As in, on a lake my tummy would be upset. Then I found watching cricket does the same…. Weird connection! So the natural ginger in these settles my gut down and allows me to go on a barge over to the islands, and watch that 6 get pelted over the fence!

Ingredients

250g butter, melted or very soft

200g brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups plain wholemeal flour

1 tsp ground ginger

2 cm grated fresh ginger

 

Method

Combine the butter and sugar. Then add the egg, flour and ginger, mixing all the ingredients together. Roll tablespoon portions of the mix in your hands and place on a lined baking tray, about 3 cm apart. Mark with the back of a fork (as traditionally done for ginger cookies)! Bake in 180 degree Celsius oven for about 15 minutes. Try not to eat them all in one go! Have a fabulous time making them!

Ginger cookies